Discovered: Breast cancer isn't just one type of cancer, a device that made a paralyzed monkey move, ecstasy isn't all that happy after all, and a reason to spoil kids with more toys.
- Breast cancer isn't just one type of cancer. It's actually made up of 10 different diseases. What at first might seem scary and daunting and possibly exhausting, is actually very useful finding for those trying to cure the disease. "Our results will pave the way for doctors in the future to diagnose the type of breast cancer a woman has, the types of drugs that will work and those that won't, in a much more precise way than is currently possible," explains researcher Carlos Caldas. The study also found completely new genes linked to breast cancer as well as the relationship between these genes and the pathways that control the division and growth of the cancer. And, it did it all with a "groundbreaking" brand "completely new way of looking at breast cancer," in the words of Caldas. Sounds like a pretty useful study. [Nature]
- A once paralyzed monkey can now move its hand. This one's for the Jason Streets of the world: Science has restored muscle movement in a paralyzed monkey, using an artificial implement in the brain. "With these neural engineering methods, we can take some of the important basic physiology that we know about the brain, and use it to connect the brain directly to muscles," explained researcher Lee E. Miller. With the aid of the device, both monkeys tested not only could move their hands, but could pick up and move a ball. As expected, this kind of result is encouraging for curing paralysis. "This connection from brain to muscles might someday be used to help patients paralyzed due to spinal cord injury perform activities of daily living and achieve greater independence," continues Miller. [NIH]
- Ecstasy isn't all that happy after all. Maybe we should start calling the drug Melancholia? Because the drug, which might make one happy for a short period of time, has been linked to teen depression. "Recreational [ecstasy] and [speed] use places typically developing secondary school students at greater risk of experiencing depressive symptoms," explain researchers. Looking at the ecstasy and speed use of 15 and 16 year olds -- we know, baby drug users -- those who used both drugs were twice as likely to have depressive symptoms than those who used neither of the drugs. Also, one in seven of those who partook in either drug scored on the higher end of the depression-o-meter. By the way, just for some water-cooler trivia, speed was the more popular drug among these teens, with 11.6 percent of them doing it, compared with the 8 percent who did MDMA. [Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health]
- A reason to spoil your kids with toys. Hey, child readers, here's a really great way to get presents: Tell your parents science said having more toys is healthier. It's true! "Indeed, we found that the combination of autonomy (choosing from several different games) and mastery (playing exergames) produced the greatest increases in physical activity time," explains researcher James Roemmich. The more game choices a kid has, the more physical activity they do. Kids, you can even say science prescribes more toy-age. "Focus on finding 3 to 5 active games that your children like and make them easily accessible around the home," continues Roemmich. Fool proof. [University at Buffalo]
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